Space * Treats * Affection * Respect

Nature / Nurture Dog Training

BASIC OBEDIENCE & LOTS OF LOVE

IS NOT ENOUGH TO GET A WELL-BEHAVED DOG . . .

Too often I’ve seen many owners with over-excited or aggressive dogs that may behave only when you have a treat in your hand.  What about when you don’t have a treat?

Most trainers & owners are missing the all important ethological causes of behavior in dogs – their instincts, their natural needs as pack animals.  In fact, most owners actually train their dogs to be over-excited, anxious and/or aggressive.  Behavior modification with clickers and treats are good, but are not effective in the long term in the distracting and demanding environment of an urban lifestyle.

WHY MY METHODS WORK BEST

I address dog behavior from the understanding that dogs view humans as dogs and they want to bond with us as part of the pack. This quality is what makes dogs such awesome companion pets.  And most domestic dogs are submissive, which means they look to us “biped dogs” to be leaders in all the important aspects of pack life.

Good dog behavior must come from the Nature origin or aspect of behavior first and, secondarily, the Nurture origin or aspect of behavior. I teach owners to give their dog the best foundation for good behavior and tap into their desire to cooperate.  To use only behavior modification is to band-aid the problem rather than address the root of most poor behaviors.  Thus the band-aid eventually wears off, sometimes sooner than later.  Meanwhile, the root of the problem often times gets exasperated.

Correction as well as positive reinforcement are a natural and necessary part of learning. To use only positive reinforcement is to live in a fantasy world where correction for poor behavior doesn’t exist, where there are no negative consequences for inappropriate actions.  I teach owners to praise profusely and correct minimally, to forgive quickly as dogs do and to end all corrections with praise.

Photo by Jenie Clark

DOGS NEED LEADERSHIP, STRUCTURE and the OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE

TO FEEL SAFE and LOVED

To have good self-esteem, dogs must earn their keep.  To not have consistent structure means they will have anxiety, which is manifested in various degrees of aggression, including obsessive-compulsive behaviors, over-excitement and direct dog to dog aggression.

Vying for Space and "Treats" in the Pack

DOGS VIE FOR 3 COMMODITIES TO EARN THEIR KEEP IN THE PACK

*SPACE     *TREATS     *AFFECTION

Russell Lee-FSA-OWI collection Shepherd

The 3 commodities for which dogs vie within a pack must be distributed according to merit.  The pack leader must figure out what their dog(s) is motivated to gain and then deny and delay gratification.  The result of these commodities earned by merit or work done is a mutual

*RESPECT

What does respect from your dog mean?

  • Obedience to the leader is a reward in itself.
  • When you ask your dog to leave another dog, cat, cheesy paper or any foreign object alone, your dog will heed.
  • In a “scary” situation, your dog will trust your guidance even when another dog is aggressive towards you and your dog.
  • You will have the best bond possible with your dog, because your dog will be relaxed and trust you completely.

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